Each year, families and children reunite with the people who provided life-saving care at the St. Luke’s Newborn Intensive Care Unit. The 34th annual NICU Graduation Reunion Picnic was held on Aug. 10 at Boise’s Municipal Park, bringing together dozens of families who were there to celebrate and give thanks.
Zoey Howard was there with her family to reunite with the providers who helped care for her in 2013 after she was born at 24 weeks. Zoey spent more than 124 days in the NICU and will celebrate her third birthday on Aug. 23.
In 2015, 7,829 babies were delivered at a St. Luke's location. Of those, 1,200 premature and sick infants were sent to a St. Luke’s NICU in Boise, Meridian, or Magic Valley to heal and grow. St. Luke's has worked to improve the survivability and long-term health of those children. The overall survival rate is 98.6 percent. The NICU Family Advisory Committee hosts the annual picnic to celebrate each graduate’s progress and to thank the doctors and nurses who provided care at a critical time.
Chereen Langrill was formerly a communications coordinator for St. Luke’s Health System.